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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
10. July 2019

Negotiating Difference: Educational Experiences of Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Students in Mainstream Japanese Schools

Japan is part of a global trend in which enrollment in schools for the deaf is in decline due to a pedagogical shift: first towards ‘integration’ and later towards ‘inclusion’. As a result, it is rapidly becoming the norm for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Japan to be educated alongside hearing peers rather than among deaf and hard-of-hearing ones. Comparative research suggests that these mainstreamed students face social neglect and isolation. Yet, as studies have shown, Japanese youth are not passive actors. They can work to actively interpret and transform their situation.

This presentation focuses on the results of a 15-month ethnographic study on young (18 to 24 year-old) Japanese self-identified ‘inte’ (a shortened version of the loanword for integration) who were educated in ‘hearing schools’.

Jennifer M. McGuire, Doshisha University